Sunday, January 22, 2012

Make ahead meals: first try

On Tuesday (I's taken me a while to post!) I went grocery shopping. But this time, instead of trying to select groceries and hope I could make something, I went prepared.  I printed out a dozen or so recipes that I wanted to try, and I entered all the ingredients into my Ziplist app.  Ziplist will import recipes from many blogs and other sites, and when you tell it which recipes you want, it creates a shopping list.  I had not set up my recipes on the Ziplist, so I just typed the ingredients one at a time. Ziplist automatically put it in categories. (And it did a good job!)

Before I went to the store, I compared my shopping list to my cupboards and pantry. By doing this, I avoided picking up spices that were in the cupboard---and I didn't assume I had something and found out half way through the recipe that I was wrong.

At the store, I was able to quickly shop ( quickly as you can at Wal-Mart!).  I got everything on my list (and a few others).  But I knew when I got home that I had ingredients for several meals.

I fed the starving kiddos (frozen pizzas and mini corndogs).  Hey, it's gonna take some time to get rid of the processed stuff! And then I was ready for my cooking adventure to begin.

I cooked up 5 pounds of ground beef.  I lightly seasoned it (garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder) and drained.  I vacuum sealed a couple of pounds (one pound at a time); used about a pound and a half for sloppy joes (in the freezer); and the rest for a frozen crockpot lasagna.  (More on that later).

I put as many boneless skinless chicken breasts as I could fit into the crockpot with basic spices (garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder) and some water and let them cook all night.  In the morning, I shredded all the chicken and vacuum sealed the chicken into to 2 cup portions. I also vacuum sealed the broth.

I mixed up spices to make my own taco seasoning.  They are in a Ziploc bag with instructions on it.

I put the 3 packets for my 3 Packet Pot Roast in a Ziplock bag with instructions.

I mixed stew meat (uncooked) with ingredients for a crockpot stroganoff and put it in the freezer.

I bought ingredients for a Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry, Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken, Lasagna roll ups,
Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna, Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp, Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin, Pepperoni Roll, and Crescent Pepperoni Roll Ups.

I went to bed EXHAUSTED, but I felt good knowing how much I had accomplished!

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